Scotland Still Hopeful for Last 16 Berth at Euro 2024

Scotland know they have it all to play for in their final group game of Euro 2024 if they want to avoid an early tournament exit. The Scots have never before reached the knockout stages of a major competition, but they still harbor hopes of making history when they take on their final Group A rivals Hungary on Sunday night.

Scotland were heavily defeated 5-1 by hosts Germany in their opening game of Euro 2024 before securing a 1-1 draw with Switzerland, meaning their qualification fate comes down to the crucial Hungary clash. So what do they need to do to progress to the last 16?

The Tartan Army would love to finally see their side in a knockout game at a major tournament.

To achieve this, Scotland cannot possibly finish top of their group, and they are very unlikely to end up in second place. The only way that can happen is if they beat Hungary, Germany beat Switzerland, and the two scorelines mean Scotland make up a six-goal swing in goal difference required to overtake the Swiss (their draw means head-to-head record is irrelevant).

Scotland’s more realistic hope is to beat Hungary and hope that’s enough to put them through as one of the four best third-placed teams across all six groups. History suggests that is likely to be the case, as no side has ever got at least four points and failed to progress since the tournament expanded to 24 teams in 2016; however, this cannot be declared a mathematical certainty at this stage.

If Scotland lose to Hungary, they will definitely finish bottom of the group and be eliminated. If they claim a point against Hungary, they will almost certainly be out too, unless there is some unlikely turn of events in at least two of the other groups that mean at least two other third-placed sides finish with two points or fewer โ€“ which is improbable.

It means it is probably win or bust for Scotland in their bid to finally end their wait for knockout football at a major tournament. The Tartan Army will be hoping their side can rise to the occasion and secure the necessary victory against Hungary on Sunday night.

๐Ÿ”— Source